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The book offers an aesthetic account of intellectual property rights as they concern works of art and literature. The thesis begins with a comparison of (British) copyright and (French) droit d'auteur, through a historical survey: licences and printing privileges in both countries, the Statute of Anne of 1710 as well as the Fine Arts Act of 1862 in Britain, and La loi du 19 juillet 1793 in France.
The core of the thesis is a reading of selected legal cases in Britain and France from the early nineteenth century to the present. Cases concerning works of art and literature are closely analysed
and compared in terms of their concern and consequences for the scope of protection, the justification for copyright, the concept of the work and of the author/creator, the notion of originality, and the concepts of copying and infringement; in the cultural rather than the legal sphere, the dissertation examines the implications of these cases for critical and aesthetic judgments
passed on works of literature and art. Celebrated as well as unknown cases are presented chronologically in order to expose trends and developments.
Part One: Background
1. Historical Overview
2. Theories of Copyright
3. Copyright ABC
4. Aesthetic Keywords
Part Two: To Copy or not to Copy: a British Question
1. The Act of Copying in Literature
2. Reproduction and Imitation in Art
3. Art & Copyright
4. Art, Literature and Copyright
Part Three: Metamorphoses of Moral Rights in France
1. The Right of Integrity in Works of Literature
2. The Right of Integrity in Works of Art
3. Copyright in Texts and Images
Part Four: Moral Rights in Britain
Table of Statutes
Chronological list of cases